Torres toils again
We assess Fernando Torres' performance against Swansea in what was another tough night for the Spaniard, which culminated in him being replaced by new boy Demba Ba. Can Torres turnaround his form or is he set for a spell on the bench?
Last Updated: January 10, 2013 11:35am
Is there a changing of the guard on the horizon at Chelsea?
Fernando Torres made his first Chelsea start since the arrival of Demba Ba in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Swansea and endured a game to forget at Stamford Bridge.
While Ba enjoyed a dream debut by bagging a brace at the weekend as Chelsea made easy work of Southampton at St Mary's, Torres continues to look a shadow of the player he once was.
By the time his number was called on Wednesday and Rafa Benitez replaced him with the Chelsea new boy, the home crowd had already started calling for the introduction of Ba.
Here, we take a look at how the Spaniard got on as a lone striker on his 100th Blues appearance.
Torres looked out of sorts from the start, only showing flashes of his pace and skill. The fact he had only 19 touches in 81 minutes summed up what was a poor display from the Chelsea striker. The player's body language has been pretty poor all season and looked no brighter on Wednesday.
The Spaniard was fairly mobile but rarely threatened to get behind the Swansea backline. Quick feet from Torres saw Chico Flores pick up a yellow card for fouling him at the start of the second half, but that was the most he could muster. Again, though, it's likely a confidence thing that is preventing him from playing on the shoulder of defenders.
Probably the best aspect of his game on the night. Torres provided a few knock-downs for team-mates and notably sent in a fine first-half cross that could, and maybe should, have led to the opening goal. There's no denying he's working hard for his team and is willing to put in a shift.
Torres' night started poorly, with a wayward shot that flew into the Shed End. It carried on in the same vein, with a tame header all he could show for his second-half display. He did not get the best service by any means but neither did countryman Michu, who took his half chance to score Swansea's opening goal.
Chants of "We want Demba Ba" were heard during the second half as Torres struggled. When Torres was eventually replaced nine minutes from time, large portions of the home support aimed boos at the £50million striker. Has patience finally snapped with the Stamford Bridge faithful?
Benitez remains steadfast in support of his No.9 and when quizzed about his compatriot post-match he again backed his man: "I think we had chances at the end, but as a team we were creating chances from the first minute. It's not just one player or the striker. I was happy with the way the team were working."